by Terri Wiebold
Visitors and residents of Castle Pines North (CPN) enjoy the beautiful landscape of four local parks, more than 560 acres of open space, and an excess of 14 miles of nature trails. Unfortunately, there are some that live in or visit our community that feel it is okay to vandalize private and public property with graffiti. Prevention in our community begins with education, and every resident can play a part.
What is graffiti?
Graffiti is essentially words, colors, shapes, and figures painted or scratched on buildings, signs, fences, cars or other surfaces. It is done without the permission of the property owner and it is against the law. It is considered vandalism or criminal mischief, and is punishable by law.
How does graffiti hurt a community?
Graffiti in any community sends the message that there is a lack of pride and responsibility of ownership in the community. It often is an invitation for other more serious forms of crime. Graffiti clean up is expensive and drains resources that might otherwise be used for different community projects. Graffiti can also have a psychological impact on a community’s sense of security.
How can graffiti be prevented?
The most effective way to prevent graffiti is to be aware of surroundings and report suspicious activity immediately to the proper authorities. If graffiti is found and reported, it should be removed promptly. It is important to send a message to the vandals that this behavior is not tolerated and will be addressed right away.
What should someone do if graffiti is spotted?
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office takes crime in CPN very seriously. It will actively and aggressively pursue those who vandalize our community. Report any found graffiti right away to the Sheriff’s Office at 303-660-7500. Report it even if the graffiti is on property that does not belong to you such as utility boxes or street signs. Do not remove it until a deputy has come out and taken a report and pictures. The Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit keeps data on all graffiti to determine if it is associated with gang activity or any other “tagging crews.”
Who is responsible for graffiti removal?
A property owner is responsible for graffiti removal on his or her own property, while County crews are responsible to clean signs, walls, etc. The Castle Pines North Metro District is responsible for graffiti removal from all District owned facilities such as parks and trails. Individual HOAs are responsible for cleaning up their property such as pools or clubhouses.
Residents in CPN have worked hard to keep our community clean and free of vandalism and graffiti. If every resident plays a part in watching for - and reporting - suspicious activity in neighborhoods, the beauty of CPN can be maintained and preserved.
-Contributing information provided by The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.